Save Him

Save Him

By:  Val Sims  Completed
Language: English
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Natalie Taylor is in big financial trouble, and she needs a lot of cash fast. So when a chance to make the kind of money she needs in a short space of time lands on her lap, she knows it's too good to be true. But, with limited options, what other choice does she have? Natalie has one goal when she signs up with Dreams: to make as much money as possible and get out fast. She's not looking for adventure nor hoping for love. Days into her moonlighting job, though, her focus and determination are shaken when she runs into her biggest problem yet—Levi Van Holt, heir to a mega-million hotel chain and CEO of a gaming startup. Levi is everything she wants in a man. Handsome, accomplished and generous. Harbouring secrets of his own, Levi has one rule for his companion: no falling in love. But with their desires constantly tested the longer they are in each other's company, it doesn't take long for both their lives—real and secret— to converge, and the lines between illusion and reality begin to blur. © 2022 Val Sims. All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author and publishers.

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214 chapters
1|Her Only Reason
[Three months earlier]... 'Money or Fame?''Fame!'It was the same set of questions. Same two friends. Todd and Ben. The rules were still the same too. Two choices. Pick an answer. No wasting time.The only difference was they were now fifteen minutes away from their destination. The bus driver had just informed them of their ETA, pretty much the same way a pilot gives a weather update before making a descent.She wouldn't have ordered the ham and cheese sandwich if she knew how close they were. She wasn't hungry anymore.'Batman or Superman?'Of course, now and then, they switched things up a bit and threw in a random question or two. It was the only way to pass the time without slitting each other's throats. Eight hours straight in a stiflingly hot bus was enough to turn anyone into a mass murderer.To stay sane, she'd spent her eight hours on the game between the two friends across the aisle and the serial killer paperback she'd picked up on a whim at the bus station. A hundred pag
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2|The Call
[Present day]... "The results came back. It's not looking good, Nat."These were not the words Natalie Taylor wanted to hear, and it was not the news she'd expected."Jamie's kidneys are failing. He'll need a transplant soon."She felt like a steam train had run her over, crushed her chest and squeezed all the air from her lungs as she struggled to breathe. Her fingers turned as rubbery as her legs, and her phone slipped out of her hands, complaining as it crashed to the floor at her feet."Nat? Say something. Are you okay?"Her sister's disembodied voice sounded muffled, as though it came from some far-off place. Natalie leaned over to grab the phone, wincing at the huge spiderweb crack on the screen. So much for tempered glass!She brought the damaged iPhone to her ear, mumbling, "Sorry, I dropped my phone.""I thought you fainted," Amber replied. "I was so worried."Natalie ignored her concern as she swayed on her feet and held on to the wall to steady herself. She was very close t
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3|Saints And Sinners
Saints was already buzzing with the usual Monday afternoon rowdiness when they arrived. The place was packed, and not just from their colleagues. The bar was a crowd-puller every day—except Sundays because it was closed—attracting an impressive number of patrons from the big five banks and the tons of tech startups in the Central Business District.Natalie clutched Emily's hand, and they squeezed through the crowd of sweaty but smartly-dressed drunken bodies while they made their way to a miraculously free corner booth near the restrooms."What do you want to drink?" Emily shouted over the blaring music, a catchy tune from last summer, but still played to death on all radio stations."I'll have a margarita!" Natalie yelled back.Emily said something about hopping over to the bar to get their drinks. Natalie waved her off and checked her emails, but quickly closed the quote from Amber when she saw too many zeros. There was no way she could afford that on her salary.To Natalie's relief,
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4|Dreams
Levi Van Holt ran on autopilot for fourteen hours, fuelled by the strongest coffee he could find at various layovers. But he crashed almost immediately under a wave of exhaustion when he reached his office.For a minute or maybe longer, he remained in his seat in the back of the Uber, unable to move, dreading the night ahead."Sir, is this the right address?" Eyebrow raised, the driver turned in his seat."Yes. Thank you," Levi said as he gathered his messenger bag and luggage and gave the man a generous tip before he slipped out of the car.The ground floor was ablaze with lights, but the rest of the building sat in darkness.His shoulders sagged and his eyes droopy, Levi trudged to the entrance. If someone told him they hid a body in his duffel bag, he'd believe them. But other than several outfits and shoes, nothing in there would interest law enforcement. So he couldn't understand why it was so heavy.He stopped to chat with the security guard in the lobby.The older man beamed wi
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5|One Job
The dreaded phone call turned into one of their ugliest fights in a while when Levi informed his parents he had nothing new to report."What do you mean you didn't find her? What the hell were you doing for three months? No doubt fucking random whores in shady hotels. You were always irresponsible. You only had one job, Levi—to find your sister!" Charles Leviticus Van Holt Senior went berserk on him, accusing him of all sorts of crazy things, including being the most incompetent son in the world.Levi couldn't say he was surprised. Colleen was always the favourite child. A true daddy's little girl. And in their father's eyes, she could do no wrong.Of the two of them, she was the impulsive and reckless one. But for some inexplicable reason, her disappearances always fell squarely on Levi's shoulders.Cynthia Strauss, his mom, tried to defend him but immediately shut her mouth when Leviticus quickly shot her down, not giving her a chance to get a word in edgewise. Nobody could talk any
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6|Colleen
Mildly drunk and dog-tired, Levi was tempted to sleep in his office after the phone call with his parents.The idea of spending the night on a couch that wasn't as comfortable as his king-size bed, though, did not make business sense whichever way he looked at it. So he threw on his jacket, grabbed his bags and headed out.Dozing off in the lobby in one of Mark's new fancy chairs, Sol jerked awake at the sound of his footsteps and smiled sleepily. "Mr Van Holt, are you off, sir?""Yes. See you later, Sol!" Levi waved goodbye, pushed the emergency exit door and ran down the two flights of stairs to his reserved parking spot in the basement.His Porsche Cayenne didn't look too bad for a car that had been parked in a dusty basement for a little over three months, but stopping by the car wash one of the days wouldn't hurt.Twenty minutes later, Levi was at his penthouse in Green Point, a plush neighbourhood north of Rock Castle.He hadn't been home in a while, but the place looked as prist
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7|Tempted
Plagued by worry for her brother and tempted by Emily's offer, sleep didn't come easy for Natalie that night.She wriggled around in her bed for a while, trying to get into a comfortable position, before giving up any illusions she had about getting a peaceful night's rest.She sat up, turned on the light on her bedside stand, and reached for her phone, her heart bleeding a little at the massive crack on the screen. She still had eighteen months of payments left on the contract, and now with Jamie's medical expenses, it would be a while yet before she could get it fixed.The group chat with all her friends back home was dead. Nothing new in Sparrow Beach. No salacious gossip or groundbreaking scandals.Disappointed, Natalie scrolled through the Hot Connexions App.Only one of the eight 'connexion' suggestions was her type. Swiping left on her screen, she turned down the seven and focused all her attention on Lucas Southey.Not his real name, of course.They never used their real names
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8|Aunty Viv
Recruitment exceeded her expectations with their turnaround time.The owner of Dreams herself called her from an undisclosed phone number hours after Natalie sent through her application. But thinking it was a sales consultant calling to sell her life insurance she couldn't possibly afford, she ignored all three successive calls and poured all her energy on the graphs and pie charts in her report.Around midday, as she was about to head to the staff canteen on the ground floor to grab something to eat, her phone rang again.This time she picked up, and she wasn't very nice. "No, I don't want any life insurance, and I don't have any friends I can refer to you. So can you please stop badgering me with all these calls?""I like your fire, doll!" A breathy voice purred on the other end. "This is Aunty Viv. I've tried three times this morning to reach you.""Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry. I thought it was the telemarketers," Natalie apologised, convinced she'd blown her chances."Totally un
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9|Escort In Training
When the clock struck 5:00 PM the day after Natalie met with Aunty Viv, she was thrilled to finally lock her work laptop away in her cabinet.She'd had a mother of a day with too many reverts on her reports, and she didn't plan to work overtime tonight. She'd given Chassis enough of her time already."Atta girl!" Emily nodded her approval. She never worked overtime.Her friend dropped her off at a boutique in Rock Castle for the start of her three-day program.As she tried on the different outfits Aunty Viv had picked for her, Natalie wondered if all escort services offered training or only the ones catering to a wealthy clientele.The clothes were stylish and elegant. Nothing like the slutty dresses she had imagined she'd have to wear. But the price tag on each outfit was enough to send her in a mini-crisis and to the nearest Medi Clinic for heart failure."I can't afford this!" she told the store clerk when she saw the invoice."Don't worry, Vivienne took care of it.""Thank you!" Na
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10|Smashed
Emily was pretty smashed when they left Crush, the upscale nightclub she'd blown thousands of rands on drinks and food in a matter of hours.No matter how loudly she proclaimed to be 'super', anyone with a shred of common sense could see she was in no condition to be behind the wheel.Natalie couldn't take them home either since she didn't drive. It was one of those things she always meant to learn to do, but like her new sofa and wallpaper had somehow slipped further down her bucket list."I can take us home, I promise!" Emily teetered on her feet as she reached up to snatch back her car keys.She would have fallen face down if it wasn't for Natalie's quick reaction time. The two cocktails she'd nursed throughout the night hadn't dulled her senses.She caught her swiftly and propped her up against the pole light on the pavement."Sit here and be good," she said as she glanced around and bit her nails while she tried to think up a plan to get them home.She'd already taken too many Ube
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